Greens Announce Plan to Legalise Cannabis in Next Term of Parliament


Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and drug law reform spokesperson, has today launched the Greens plan to legalise and regulate recreational cannabis in NSW. 

The Greens Plan to Legalise It! would: 

  • Legalise and regulate cannabis for adults in NSW
  • Reform Mobile Drug Testing to test for impairment instead of presence
  • Generate up to $9 billion in revenue over a decade for NSW
  • Allow households to grow up to 12 cannabis plants
  • Regulate cannabis products to reduce harms with health warnings, CBD/THC content labelling and prohibitions on advertising
  • Establish a NSW Cannabis Authority to regulate the cannabis market with the aim to reduce the harms caused by cannabis and prevent the dominance of the industry by large corporations
  • Allow for cannabis social clubs of at least 5 people which can grow 12 plants per member up to 200 plants
  • Extinguish past cannabis convictions

Quotes attributable to Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP, drug law reform spokesperson and lead candidate for the NSW Upper House

“It’s time to legalise cannabis in NSW. More than one in three of us have used cannabis in our lifetimes and more than two million Australians use cannabis each year,” Cate said.

“Prohibition has well and truly failed and governments all around the world are finally accepting this fact. We’ve seen legalisation in 21 US states, Canada, Uruguay, South Africa and  Mexico  and the sky hasn’t fallen in.

“People are risking criminal records just because their drug of choice has been deemed illegal because of a moral crusade started before I was born. The fact is cannabis poses much less harm to individual users and to our society compared to alcohol, tobacco and many prescription drugs.

“I will introduce a bill to legalise cannabis as a priority after the election. The Greens bill would ensure that cannabis products are labelled in terms of the strain and levels of THC and CBD and include health warnings. At the moment most people have no idea of the strength of the cannabis they are buying on the black market and whether or not it’s laced with other drugs.

“A regulated cannabis market would protect young people because, unlike drug dealers, cannabis stores will be required to check ID and refuse service to those under 18. 

“In January the federal Parliamentary Budget Office costed the legalisation of cannabis for the Australian Greens. It found that taxing and regulating cannabis would see a $28 billion boost in revenue to the federal budget over a decade. For NSW, that would mean $6.5 billion in revenue and $2.4 billion in GST over a decade. 

“Our drug driving laws are broken. Every year thousands of people are being charged for drug driving after testing positive to THC even though the effect had worn off long before they got behind the wheel. 

“Our plan will not only create a legal defence for medicinal cannabis patients but reform the entire Mobile Drug Testing program to test for impairment instead of mere presence. 

“Instead of billions of dollars going into the pockets of organised crime, our bill would enable the sale of cannabis to be regulated and taxed, meaning hundreds of millions of dollars, potentially billions, would be diverted to our health system, including drug rehabilitation and harm reduction,” Ms Faehrmann said.

Quotes Attributable to Tamara Smith, Greens Member for Ballina

“The war is not on drugs, it's on our people. I've got 80 year old constituents who are having fantastic results from prescribed cannabis for chronic health conditions who cannot drive or enjoy their mobility because they might lose their licence - despite the fact that they are not impaired,” Tamara said. 

"I've also got medicinal cannabis producers in my electorate delivering economic and health benefits to our region, but stymied by outdated attitudes to cannabis use." 

Quotes Attributable to Adam Guise, Lismore City Councillor and candidate for Lismore

Decades of cannabis prohibition have failed. Continuing to criminalise cannabis users empowers the police to persecute particular populations and communities like Nimbin,” Adam said. 

“The Greens have been at the forefront of leading these changes, by introducing laws to overturn nonsensical drug driving laws. Drug law reform can't happen without political action and and only by electing MPs who want to change the currently broken and unjust system will this occur.

  • The federal Parliamentary Budget Office has estimated that legalising cannabis with a 25% licensing fee could bring in a whopping $28 billion in revenue over a decade. For NSW that means over $6.5 billion in revenue and $2.4 billion in GST. 
  • In Canada, the legal cannabis market contributed $8.26 billion to the country’s GDP as of July 2019. The legal market for cannabis grew by an incredible 185% in the ten months following legalisation, while illegal markets decreased by 21%.
  • The legalisation of cannabis in parts of the United States has contributed to a total economic growth of $38 - $46 billion in 2019 and $54.6 - $66.9 billion in 2020. It is predicted to contribute $106.4 to $130.2 billion by 2024. 

The Greens Plan to Legalise It: Legalise Cannabis 2023 | Greens NSW